Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars, cont.

So I began thinking about the commercials we've seen tonight so far, and how this is the second most expensive ad-buy of the year. If the Superbowl is all about beer, guys, and talking animals, then the Oscars are about the women.

American Express, Mastercard, Dove, L'Oreal, Cadillac, and Venus have been the big advertisers of the night. Cadillac has even aired a spot talking about cupholders, specifically talking about sexism in car sales to women.

Interesting crop of ads, and interesting to note how different it is from the football crowd.

PS: Last note: Away from Her, one of the night's nominated films, was written and directed by Sarah Polley. She's only 29. Sigh. I'm one laaaazy-ass filmmaker.

The Woman I Want to Become

So I'm watching the Oscars (only having seen two of the films: Michael Clayton and Ratatouille), and there was an incredible American Express commercial on just now. It wasn't flashy- just a celebrity voiceover and a glimpse into her life. I was rummaging in the fridge looking for a snack when it came on.

The first sentence grabbed me though: "I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to become."

Those words etched themselves into my mind, and my head poked out of the fridge, to see Diane von Furstenberg. "Fashion was absolutely an accident in my life. As a result of that, I was becoming independent and I was becoming more and more the woman I wanted to be."

As soon as I find a video, I'll post it. Strong message, very confident. The Oscars are becoming the second biggest ad buy next to the Superbowl, but so far, only this one stood out. (The user-created Dove ads were a tad lackluster I thought.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hillary Endorses Obama.

I bet that grabbed your attention, didn't it?

Axe does it again... Disclosure: HRC isn't my candidate of choice right now, and the ad is pretty funny, but it's silly to think a fragrance could influence a woman as knowledgeable and driven as she is. This was created by BBH London, and I'm not sure where it's getting placement. US? Overseas?

Compared to the rest of the Axe ads, I find this one to be more multi-layered thanks to it's use of current political figures. We have the first serious female contender for the highest office in the land, as well as an African-American candidate and of course, they're facing off against one another. Race and gender have both come up during this primary season, and seeing an ad like this further plays into the dynamic. Yeah, it reflects upon HRC's femininity and how she'd supposedly be susceptible to a decent body spray, but it also makes a statement about Obama and his masculinity. He's already drawing rock-star sized crowds, the Axe aura plays into his popularity quite well.

I'm following the Democratic Primary race pretty closely, and I'll admit I was taken in by this ad at first. I was about to run over to the Huffington Post to see what the hell I had missed, then realized ohhhhh.... it's an ad. The fact that it's an ad is what makes it work so well when you get the gag, but if you take it at face value, it could be pretty confusing. Is Axe trying to make a political statement here? I don't think so. Could it be misconstrued as one? Definitely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

She'll pretty much have to.

Ok, it's been awhile.

But I just saw a J.C. Penny's jewelry store commercial that made me wince.

We open on a close up of a jewelry box, clearly branded with the JCP red square. A man's hand reaches into the box, withdrawing a necklace with a diamond(?) heart dangling from it. It swings back and forth hypnotically, as the man says it's everything she wants, isn't it, honey? We cut to another scene- same thing- different hand, different necklace (still in shape of a heart), but same hypnotic swinging, and then cut again to the same sort of scene, followed by a product shot. We don't see any faces, male or female- just the different men's hands.

Parting VO line: "Everyone gets what they want this Valentine's Day."

What the heck does that mean? They can't be saying what I think they are..... right?